Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Acts Overview

The information provided on this site is subject to change based on further information and guidance provided by Federal and State entities

Last Update April 13, 2020 8:00 am

Overview
Eligibility
Entitlement
Rate of Pay
Frequency and Duration of Leave
To Apply
Resources


Overview

What are the federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Acts?

The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act are components of the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), passed by Congress on March 18, 2020, and in effect April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. It includes two different employee leave acts:

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL) provides paid leave to employees based on their own COVID-19 health related issues — individuals who are caring for someone with COVID-19 issues, or who need to care for a minor child due to a COVID-19-related school or child care closure.

The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFML) provides expanded family and medical leave, paid and unpaid leave to employees who need to care for a minor child due to a COVID-19-related school or child care closure.

Eligibility

Employee Type
Faculty, Administrative Professional, Classified staff, and Temporary/Hourly

Hours Worked for Eligibility
EPSL: Any period. No minimum hours worked
EFML: Employed for 30 days

Not a Qualified Reason

Employees who’s department do not have work for them or have had work hours reduced because there was not work for them to perform, may not use EPSL or EFML for the hours they are no longer scheduled to work. Employees may not take FFCRA paid leaves for qualifying reason if their employer does not have work for them.

Per the federal Department of Labor  (FFCRA Q&A#28), the employee is not prevented from working those hours due to a COVID-19 qualifying reason, even if the reduction in hours was somehow related to COVID-19.

Inability to Work

Employee is able to work if employer has work for employee and one of the COVID-19 qualifying reasons set in FFCRA prevents employee from able to perform that work, or under normal circumstances at employee normal worksite or by means of telework.

If employee and employer agree that employee will work normal number of hours, but outside of employee’s normally scheduled hours (example: early in the morning or late at night), then employee is able to work and leave is not necessary unless a COVID-19 qualifying reason prevents employee from working.

Entitlement

The University determines when to designate a leave as EPSL and/or EFML based on the facts of each individual situation. When we know facts that indicate your leave of absence might be covered under the Acts, we are required to inform you of your rights under this law. You are responsible for providing enough information so that the University is able to make the appropriate determination.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

Leave reason Leave Frequency & Duration Documentation Required
1. Employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local (ie county, not employer) quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19

EXAMPLE: Includes quarantine or isolation orders, as well as shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders, issued by any Federal, State, or local government authority that cause you to be unable to work (or to telework) even though your employer has work that you could perform but for the order.

You may not take paid sick leave for this qualifying reason if your employer does not have work for you as a result of a shelter-in-place or a stay-at-home order
. (DOL FAQ #60)
Full-time employee: Up to 80 hrs
                       
Part-time employee: Up to equal to the # of hours worked on average over a two week period

Ends beginning with the employee’s next scheduled shift immediately following the termination of the qualifying condition
EPSL/EFML Employee Request form including declaration that the employee is unable to work including teleworking AND

A copy of the Federal, State or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 applicable to the employee
2. Employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19

EXAMPLE: You are eligible for paid sick leave if a health care provider directs or advises you to stay home or otherwise quarantine yourself because the health care provider believes that you may have COVID-19 or are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, and quarantining yourself based upon that advice prevents you from working (or teleworking). (DOL FAQ #61)
Full-time employee: Up to 80 hrs
                       
Part-time employee: Up to equal to the # of hours worked on average over a two week period

Ends beginning with the employee’s next scheduled shift immediately following the termination of the qualifying condition
EPSL/EFML Employee Request form including declaration that the employee is unable to work including teleworking AND

If received

Written documentation by a health care provider advising the employee to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19
3. Employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis

EXAMPLE: If you become ill with COVID-19 symptoms, you may take paid sick leave under the FFCRA only to seek a medical diagnosis or if a health care provider otherwise advises you to self-quarantine. If you test positive for the virus associated with COVID-19 or are advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine, you may continue to take paid sick leave. You may not take paid sick leave under the FFCRA if you unilaterally decide to self-quarantine for an illness without medical advice, even if you have COVID-19 symptoms. Note that you may not take paid sick leave under the FFCRA if you become ill with an illness not related to COVID-19. (DOL FAQ #62)
Full-time employee: Up to 80 hrs
                       
Part-time employee: Up to equal to the # of hours worked on average over a two week period

Ends beginning with the employee’s next scheduled shift immediately following the termination of the qualifying condition
EPSL/EFML Employee Request form including declaration that the employee is unable to work including teleworking AND

If received

Written documentation by a health care provider advising the employee to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19
4. Employee is caring for an individual (a) subject to an order described in (1) or (b) self-quarantine as described in (2)

Example: Includes quarantine or isolation orders, as well as shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders, issued by any Federal, State, or local government authority that cause you to be unable to work (or to telework) even though your employer has work that you could perform but for the order.
You may not take paid sick leave for this qualifying reason if your employer does not have work for you as a result of a shelter-in-place or a stay-at-home order.
(DOL FAQ #60)

You may only take paid sick leave to care for an individual who, as a result of being subject to a quarantine or isolation order (see Question 53), is unable to care for him or herself and depends on you for care and if providing care prevents you from working and from teleworking. Generally, such an individual includes an immediate family member or someone who regularly resides in your home. (DOL FAQ #63-65)
Full-time employee: Up to 80 hrs
                       
Part-time employee: Up to equal to the # of hours worked on average over a two week period

Ends beginning with the employee’s next scheduled shift immediately following the termination of the qualifying condition
EPSL/EFML Employee Request form including declaration that the employee is unable to work including teleworking AND

(a) A copy of the Federal, State or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 applicable to the individual subject to an order described in (1)

(b) If received Written documentation by a health care provider advising the individual to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 as described in (2)
5. Employee is caring for their child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons

EXAMPLE: You may take paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave to care for your child only when you need to, and actually are, caring for your child if you are unable to work or telework as a result of providing care. Generally, you do not need to take such leave if a co-parent, co-guardian, or your usual child care provider is available to provide the care your child needs. (DOL FAQ #67-71)
Full-time employee: Up to 80 hrs
                       
Part-time employee: Up to equal to the # of hours worked on average over a two week period

Ends beginning with the employee’s next scheduled shift immediately following the termination of the qualifying condition
EPSL/EFML Employee Request form including declaration that the employee is unable to work including teleworking AND

Documentation certifying closure or unavailability of child care

Note: If the child is older than 14, the employee may also need to provide a description of the special circumstances that require the employee to provide care to the child

Samples Notice posted on a government, school, or day care website, or published in a newspaper, or an email from an employee or official of the school, place of care, or child care provider

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

Leave reason Leave Frequency & Duration Documentation Required
1. Employee is caring for their child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons


Full-time or Intermittent EPSL/EFML Employee Request form including declaration that the employee is unable to work including teleworking AND

Documentation certifying closure or unavailability of child care

Note: If the child is older than 14, the employee may also need to provide a description of the special circumstances that require the employee to provide care to the child

Samples Notice posted on a government, school, or day care website, or published in a newspaper, or an email from an employee or official of the school, place of care, or child care provider

Rate of Pay

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

Own Condition: For employee quarantine or symptoms related leave, the paid leave rate is equal to employee’s regular salary for hours taken.
Max = $511/day up to $5110.00 aggregate

Care of Another or School/Child Care Closure: Care of another or school / child care closure, the paid leave rate is equal to 2/3 of the employee’s regular salary for the number of hours the employee would otherwise be normally scheduled to work.
Max = $200/day up to aggregate of $2000.00

  • Employees may only receive 2/3 pay for hours of leave taken for EPSL reasons. Employees may not supplement this paid leave with accrued leave.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

For care of another or school / child care closure, the paid leave rate is equal to 2/3 of the employee’s regular salary for the number of hours the employee would otherwise be normally scheduled to work.
Max: $200/day; $10,000 aggregate

  • Employees may only receive 2/3 pay for hours of leave taken for EFML. Employees may not supplement this paid leave with accrued leave.
  • Employees who work on the same day in which they take EFML leave will be paid their regular salary for all hours worked and will receive 2/3 pay for hours of leave taken for EFML.

Alternative Leave Options

Should an employee have a qualifying reason as noted above and wish to apply for leave that may pay them for all leave hours taken, please see the Shared Leave webpage. If an employee is found eligible for the program and receives leave donations they may receive pay for al hours of leave taken for up to two weeks.

Frequency and Duration of Leave

Working Physically on a WSU Worksite

If an employee is physically working on a WSU worksite and unable to telework, EPSL must be taken in full-day increments and must continue to be taken until the full amount available has been used or the employee no longer has a qualifying reason for taking the leave, if the employee:

  • is the subject of a quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19,
  • has advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine,
  • is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19,
  • or are caring for an individual who is subject to quarantine

Employees caring for a child whose school or child care is closed, may use the EPSL intermittently, if approved by their department.

Teleworking

Employees who are teleworking and unable to work for a portion of time due to one of the qualifying reasons for EPSL or EFML may use the designated leave intermittently while they telework as long as they are otherwise able to work. Employees are expected to communicate to their supervisors on a departmental approved plan to telework intermittently. See COVID-19 Leave and Work Information for resources.

To Apply

EPSL & EFML Employee Application

Resources

Federal Department of Labor

Fact Sheets

Questions and Answers

Posters

State of Washington

Washington State Human Rights Commission

WSU